New details of the effects that may feature in the Gringotts Bank-themed roller coaster that will form part of the under-construction Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida have appeared in two separate reports.
Harry Potter fans have just months left to wait before the second Wizarding World makes its debut, bringing with it two major attractions (the Gringotts Bank coaster and a recreation of the Hogwarts Express), along with a host of shops and the Leaky Cauldron restaurant. Diagon Alley is likely to open to the public in May or June 2014.
Just like Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, the Gringotts Bank Coaster will combine elements of a dark ride and a roller coaster. Rather than relying purely on physical sets and animatronic chracters, though, it will incorporate enormous screens showing projected 3-D footage, similar to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
The new details revealed in the reports are consistent with previous leaks, which suggest that at one stage riders will be surrounded by a huge, conical screen projecting a battle sequence. However, it hadn't previously been suggested that a Kuka robot arm - similar to those employed by Forbidden Journey - will be used to move the screens. Firstly, they'll place the sections of the domed screen in place. Then, they'll "blast" it out of the way, before guests are launched down an "escape route" by one of three Linear Induction Motors employed by the ride.
There had previously been rumors that the Gringotts Bank coaster trains would sit on a motion base for at least part of the ride, and these appear to be consistent with claims in the reports that at one stage goblins will leap out and shake the ride vehicle.
You can find more details of the the new ride, including a full run-down of the rumored queue and ride experiences, in our extensive guide to the Gringotts Bank Coaster.
In other news, several of the food locations that will be scattered throughout Diagon Alley have been confirmed by recent permit filings. One is Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor (which will seemingly feature no seating), a second is the Fountain of Fair Fortune (likely to serve Butterbeer), another is the London Food Cart, while the final outlet is the previously-confirmed Leaky Cauldron, the area's main eatery.
The facades of Diagon Alley and the waterfront section of the new Harry Potter land are starting to be revealed, as can be seen in this night-time video from UORBuzz:
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.